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Neurological examination

If your doctor (GP or A&E doctor) suspects you have a brain tumour, they will refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist. These are specialists in brain and nerve disorders. If they suspect a child has a brain tumour, they will refer them to a paediatrician.

The specialist will:

  • Ask questions about your health
  • Give you a physical examination
  • Test your nervous system (called a neurological examination) - this involves looking at your vision, hearing, alertness, muscle strength, co-ordination and reflexes.

They may also look at the back of your eyes to see if there is any swelling of the optic disc. Any swelling is a sign of raised pressure inside the skull, which could be a sign of a brain tumour.

Actions to take

Questions to ask a doctor

Resources to explore

Actions to take

  • You should take someone with you to your appointments, so that they can help you take notes, or remember things that you might not. It is also good to have someone there who can help support you emotionally as well
  • Find out and note down the contact details of your medical team and make sure you know who to contact if you have any concerns
  • It can help to digitally record your consolation with the medical team, so that you can remember what was discussed, or check what you might have missed.

Questions to ask a doctor

  • If you don't believe it is a brain tumour, what do you think could be causing my symptoms? 
  • How can I manage the symptoms I'm experiencing?
  • What symptoms would show up in these neurological examinations? What would be concerning?

Resources to explore

Hearing tests to diagnose acoustic neuromas

Acoustic neuromas can be difficult to diagnose as their symptoms, including hearing loss, can be similar to other conditions. Find out more about about acoustic neuromas and how they are diagnosed.

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